The Jewish cemetery of Dzierzgoń (in German: Christburg), Voivodship Pomerania. Poland
(Note: The city belonged to East Prussia from 1922-1945, before that, since the Polish partition of 1772, it belonged to West Prussia).
The Jewish cemetery is located on the right side of the road from Dzierzgon towards the village Tywęza. It is one of the oldest and best preserved in the Pomeranian province.
It was probably founded at the end of the 18th century on a rectangular boundary and occupies an area of about 40 hectares. It is surrounded by an almost one metre high wall of field stones and red bricks. In the sixties of the twentieth century the surrounding hedge was still visible, but today it is surrounded only by rows of lime trees. Initially, the inhabitants of Sztum (Stuhm), Malbork (Marienburg), Kwidzyn (Marienwerder) and even Elbląg (Elbing) were buried there, where the Jewish communities did not yet have their own cemeteries.
The graves are arranged in rows, with the front facing southeast. The older ones are described only in Hebrew, the newer inscriptions are already bilingual – in Hebrew and German. Gravestones made of sandstone or granite have the form of stelae with different surfaces, columns, tree trunks. There is a variety of shapes and decorations that we can see among the grasses. The oldest preserved gravestones date from the middle of the 19th century.
In the city there was a synagogue and a Jewish bath house, which no longer exist today. Around 1830 the Jewish community in Christburg was the largest – with about 300 members – and since then it has been steadily decreasing. In 1913 there were only 77 members, in 1937 about 20 people, who finally left the region one year later due to the increasing repression by the Nazis. The last funeral took place in 1931. The cemetery was devastated during the Second World War.
The cemetery was entered into the register of monuments in 1988. Despite the care of the students from Dzierzgon, more and more matzevot (gravestones) are destroyed every year – by broken branches, freezing water and vegetation that gradually erases the last traces of the memory of the former inhabitants.
The text and pictures are kindly provided by the Oberlandzki Facebook page Włóczykij (Oberlaender Troll). 9 February 2020. translated from Polish by Jews in East Prussia (Juden in Ostpreussen e.V.)
A list of the names on all existing gravestones in Christburg / Dzierzgoń can be found on the website Cmentarze żydowskie w Polsce (Jewish cemeteries in Poland) under this link >>
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